SIRIUS 3.0 SIRIUS WATCH Report 2024- Towards Better Data for Migrant Education: A Mapping of Data Availability in 14 EU Member States

SIRIUS Watch 2024 is about data, primarily the availability and comprehensiveness of valid

and reliable data about migrant education. The report has been developed by Migrant Policy Group, on the framework of the SIRIUS 3.0 project, an initiative is primarily focused on implementing significant policy changes to ensure high-quality and inclusive education for migrant learners.

The analysis provided in this report is based on desk research and consultations with education authorities in SIRIUS partner countries. In each of the 14 EU Member States covered by this report, national experts completed a questionnaire to map data availability in migrant education as of January 2024. Developed also with a view to the objectives of the comprehensive SIRIUS Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe, the questionnaire focused on five main dimensions:

• Data Collection and Categorisation

• Access to Schooling, Learning Outcomes and Targeted Support

• Education System Attributes • Socio-economic Conditions of Migrant Students

• Budget & Spending in Migrant Education

 

Find the full report here: SIRIUS Watch 2024

Training needs analysis and good practices report on Safeguarding unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children’s rights through the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

This report is developed under the project Safeguarding Unaccompanied and Separated Children’s Rights through the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (SUN), which promotes the effective enjoyment of rights stipulated in the CFREU by unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children (UASC). The SUN Project aims to promote the effective enjoyment of rights stipulated in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children.

The report aims to identify and analyze good practices and training needs in safeguarding UASC’s rights through the CFREU in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Romania.

Find the full report here:

WP2_SUN_Report_final

KidLe Newsletter!

Read the first newsletter of the new project KidLe!

SIRIUS is participating in a new Erasmus+ Project: KidLe “Developing an Intercultural Game as a Pedagogic Tool for the Inclusion of Pupils with Migrant Backgrounds in New Learning Environments.”

The main aim of the project is to support the inclusion of migrant pupils in new school environments through playing board games with an intercultural character. The project will develop five such games and integrate them into a gaming pack, which will also be digital and multilingual. Furthermore, the game development process will involve co-creation, with parents and children (migrant/local) and teachers in each country designing the games.
Find the newsletter here: KidLe 2024.03 English newsletter

SUN Project January Newsletter!

The SUN project focuses on the use of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as an effective legal instrument to promote and protect the rights of unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children (UASCs) on the EU territory. In the project newsletter you can find insights into the project and international news on UASC protection.

SUN newsletter 2024.01

SIRIUS at the SOLIDI Training Workshop- Research and policy change in inclusive education

On the 7th of December 2023, SIRIUS presented at the SOLIDI training Workshop. SOLiDi is a research program consisting of 15 individual doctoral research projects connecting research and public policy making in the field of intercultural relations, integration, and diversity policies and strategies.

As part of our workshop, we introduced the work of SIRIUS and how our advocacy work connects research on inclusive education and policy change. To illustrate this, we used the SIRIUS 3.0 ‘SIRIUS Watch’ report as an example. Based on the perceived needs and gaps identified by the networks, the SIRIUS Watch conducts research that focuses on monitoring the most significant changes in policy, implementation, and knowledge for ensuring inclusive education environments. This serves as a knowledge resource on inclusive education policy, but it also aims to be used as a tool for advocacy to promote policy change. Furthermore, we also presented the KIDS4ALLL project, whose methodology is based on the co-creation of knowledge, promoting the sharing of knowledge between the other two ‘sister’ projects, Refuge-Ed andNEW ABC , which also focus on the inclusion of migrant students in education. Additionally, we outlined the KIDS4ALLL policy brief, which we developed at SIRIUS together with the partners from the Institute for Education in Malta. This brief builds on the results of the KIDS4ALLL pilot of the platform and research to create policy recommendations on the promotion of lifelong learning competences from a holistic inclusive approach.

Right to education for unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children in the EU – A closer look at the ECRE Policy Note on the Right to Education for Asylum Seekers

Access to education is addressed in article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights Of the European Union. According to article 14, everyone has the right to education and to have access to vocational and continuing training. Within the  EU legal framework, the right to access education for asylum seekers and unaccompanied and separated minors is also recognized under the Article 14 of the Reception Conditions Directive, which mandates minors asylum applicants must access education within three months.  

 

Focusing on the right to education of asylum seekers, ECRE has produced a Policy Note on “the right to education for asylum seekers in the EU”. According to the policy note, the lengthy asylum procedures  are negatively affecting the access to education due to delays in application processing. Furthermore, in many Member States minors asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors don’t have access to the schooling systems while they are in reception centers. The lack of information upon arrival is another issue that limits the educational opportunities of UASC.It is imperative that they receive transparent information about the various education pathways available to them. 

 

Moreover, newcomers tend to be placed in lower academic tracks, often because their previous studies are not considered as valid or not accurately considered. The report also calls upon MS to invest in preparatory classes and language. Funding preparatory classes is key for the successful inclusion of newcomers in mainstream education. 

 

Apart from compulsory education, it also underlines the importance of offering opportunities in  post-compulsory education, higher education and vocational training for UASC. In many cases, these educational pathways are not prioritized because they are not part of compulsory education. However, regardless of their legal status, the access to all educational levels should be guaranteed for all newcomers. When it comes to non-compulsory education, some of the challenges UASC face are related to the recognition of diplomas, language requirements, residence permit and the lack of financial aid from the governments . 

 

Education is a basic human right, and therefore the ECRE Note emphasizes the obligation of Member States in ensuring the access to education to asylum seekers. The policy note concludes with a series of recommendations for Member states and the European Commision. You can read all the recommendations here

Advocating for inclusive and high quality education for UASC is one of SIRIUS priorities. As part of our various activities in this area, we are currently participating in the SUN project, which focuses on the use of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as an effective legal instrument to promote and protect the rights of unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children (UASCs) on the EU territory. Find more information about the project here.

SUN Project July Newsletter!

 

The SUN Newsletter

Welcome to the first SUN project newsletter! The SUN newsletter will be released regularly, providing updates on the project’s highlights, the achievements at different stages of its development, and news on  unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children regulations and practices through the CFREU.

The SUN project focuses on the use of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as an effective legal instrument to promote and protect the rights of unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children (UASCs) on the EU territory. UASCs are a particularly vulnerable group due to their age, displacement and lack of a caring adult, and are at an increased risk of rights breaches and abuse. The aim of the project is to safeguard the rights of UASCs through the CFREU by fostering the transnational exchange of knowledge and good practices, training of practitioners and dissemination and awareness raising. The project is implemented by 7 partners from 7 different countries, including Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

More about the project

Subscribe now to the newsletter!

 

SUN Kick-off meeting 

On the 12th and 13th of April, all the SUN project Kick-off meeting took place in Sofia. 

Organized by FAR, the project’s coordinator, the two days meeting marked the official start of the project and provided the first opportunity for the entire consortium to meet in person.

Throughout the meeting, the consortium had the valuable opportunity to review the overall project strategy, gain a comprehensive understanding of the various working packages and project activities, and learn more about the consortium and its members.

On the second meeting day, the consortium had the chance to present the SUN project in the European Parliament representation in Sofia. Stakeholders from Bulgaria, the FAR team, and colleagues IOM and UNHCR attended the meeting. Each partner delivered an overview of the situation concerning unaccompanied minors in their respective countries, providing information about the challenges and mechanisms in different contexts.

 

First SUN Exchange Visit in Thessaloniki 

On the 22nd and 23rd of June, the SUN Consortium had its inaugural Exchange Visit in Thessaloniki, hosted by our project partners from ARSIS. 

This visit marked the beginning of a series of planned exchange visits. The aim of these visits are to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise among participating countries on the protection of unaccompanied minors and the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

During the first day of the visit, ARSIS presented various practices they have implemented, including their National Emergency Response Mechanism, advocacy efforts, and the semi-independent living program for unaccompanied and separated minors. On the second day, we had some field visits to ARSIS’ semi-independent living offices, the National Emergency Response offices, and the vice-municipality of Social Solidarity.

The Exchange Visit provided an optimal experience for knowledge exchange and collaboration, enabling the consortium to gain deeper insights into the exemplary initiatives implemented by ARSIS.

 

Next Exchange Visit in Italy

Our upcoming Exchange Visit is scheduled to take place in Italy in September, and it will be hosted by our partners from Gruppo Volontarius. Gruppo Volontarius manages the first Shelter for Unaccompanied Minors in South Tyrol, providing essential social services and case management.

During this visit, we will have the opportunity to delve into their work in supporting unaccompanied minors and witness their successful collaboration between social services and public authorities.

More about Volontarius

 

Research and Methodology: Identification of needs and of good practices

As part of Work Package 2, the consortium will conduct focus group discussions with the objective of identifying training needs and capturing good practices in the safeguarding of UAMCs rights through the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

After developing the methodology for the focus groups, a common framework has been established for conducting the training needs assessment and gathering good practices. Two distinct questionnaires will be used, one for each of the main target groups: minors and professionals.

The “minors” group will consist of UAMCs who are currently beneficiaries of the partner organizations, as well as young migrants and refugees who arrived in Europe as UACs and have had contact with the partners. The aim is to gather insights and experiences directly from the direct beneficiaries.

In relation to professionals, the objective is to engage representatives from various fields involved in working with UAMCs. This may include lawyers, social workers, teachers, guardians, authorities, and others who play a role in supporting and advocating for UAMCs. Involving professionals from diverse areas of expertise, will give us a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and best practices and training needs  in safeguarding UAMCs’ rights.

 

Mentorship Programme and the Theory of Change

As part of the SUN project, partners are actively engaged in a mentorship scheme designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and foster communication between partners who possess extensive experience in social work with UASCs and those with expertise in strategic litigation.

During the Kick-off Meeting, partners were paired based on their specific knowledge and areas of expertise. Throughout the project, these pairs will regularly engage in meetings to share insights and support one another.

As an initial step in the mentorship program, partners are expected to prepare their “theory of change” plan by the end of the year. The theory of change model focuses on identifying the impact of one’s actions in order to achieve desired objectives. This plan serves as a roadmap for guiding project activities and aligning efforts to bring about meaningful change.

By actively participating in the mentorship program and developing their theory of change plans, partners will contribute to the overall success of the SUN project as well as creating strategic plans for achieving the objectives of their organizations.

 

ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth

ARSIS is a Greek Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that is committed to providing crucial social support to young individuals who are facing difficulties or are in dangerous situations. The organization focuses on advocating for the rights of these vulnerable youth and strives to enhance their access to essential resources and opportunities.

ARSIS operates with the vision of creating a safe and inclusive environment where all young people can thrive and reach their full potential. They recognise the unique challenges and risks that many youth encounter, particularly unaccompanied minors, and aim to address their specific needs through their comprehensive programs and services.

 

FAR-Foundation for Access to Rights

FAR is the lead organization in the SUN Project. FAR is a Bulgarian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the public interest, founded by attorney-at-law Valeria Ilareva in 2013. It is dedicated to advancing human rights, promoting equality, and empowering vulnerable individuals and communities.

They provide legal aid and assistance to individuals who are unable to afford legal representation, ensuring that their rights are protected and upheld. This includes offering legal counseling, representation in court proceedings, and advocacy for systemic changes to improve access to justice.

 

European Parliament resolution on the need for EU action on search and rescue in the Mediterranean

After recurring tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a new EU-wide search and rescue mission. In the recent shipwreck of 14 June 2023, when a fishing boat sank in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Pylos, Messenia, Greece an estimated 750 persons were onboard, of whom 104 were rescued, with 82 bodies having been recovered and the rest missing, presumed dead. 

According to UNICEF, during the first half of the year, 289 boys and girls died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, or double the number compared to the same period in 2022.

Read the resolution

The European Union Agency for Asylum 2022 report 

The European Union Agency for Asylum – EUAA published its flagship report: Asylum in Europe in 2022: A Year in Review

The report cites over 1 000 sources and combines both qualitative analyses and quantitative data in order to provide an authoritative resource for both practitioners and policy makers. It features a section on Children and people with special needs in the asylum procedure (section 5). More specifically, section 5.6.1 provides data on unaccompanied minors. According to the report in 2022, 42,000 applications for asylum were lodged by unaccompanied minors across EU+ countries (EU27 + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), which was the most since 2016. This represented an increase of three-fifths from the previous year, slightly exceeding the growth in total applications (+53%).

Read the report

 

Fundamental Rights report 2023 by European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has published the Fundamental Rights report 2023.

Chapter 8 of the report, p. 207 features the topic of the rights of children in migration. According to the report, 222,100 children applied for asylum in the EU27 in 2022, whereas 167,495 applied in 2021. In 2022, the highest numbers of applications were submitted in Germany (81,210), France (34,070), Austria (22,190) and Spain (20,580). There was also a substantial increase in asylum requests from unaccompanied children with 39,520 applications in 2022. In 2021 there were 25,130 such applications. 

In addition, a separate chapter of the report (Chapter 1, p.4) focuses  on the fundamental rights implications for the EU of the War in Ukraine.

FRA offers a free online courses, including courses on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and a course on Guardianship for unaccompanied children. For more information visit the e-learning centre of FRA.

Full report  

SIRIUS attends Lifelong Learning Lab and The Annual General Assembly

From 26 of June to 28 of June, Simay Abay who is currently undertaking a summer internship with SIRIUS attended the Lifelong Learning Lab 2023-National Training for Education Stakeholders and The Annual General Assembly at the University of Girona.

During the two-day training event (26-27 of June), the emphasis was placed on the involvement of civil society organizations and other stakeholders in education, with the aim of bridging the gap between European and national policies in the field of education and training. In the labs, participants were divided into four sessions and they got the opportunity to engage in discussions and share their own experiences pertaining to “key competences.” These discussions encompassed good practices in the field, main success factors, and the application of these practices in a broader context.

The General Assembly (27-28 of June) facilitated a platform for members to share their viewpoints on potential enhancements within LLLP and methods to strengthen collaboration among the membership. Furthermore, they convened with the Secretariat and Steering Committee of the organization to deliberate on the overall direction and essential priorities.

Elisa Gambardella (SOLIDAR Foundation) was elected new President of the Lifelong Learning Platform!

We are excited to maintain our collaboration going forward!

For more information about to General Assembly, please visit the page.

 

The photo is taken from  https://lllplatform.eu/news/lllp-has-a-new-president-and-four-new-steering-committee-members/

Young Migrants Can Achieve Change – Policy recommendations report

Find below the final report with the final policy recommendations of our project Young Migrants Can Achieve Change.

This document explains the whole process that the project developed in order to get to the final results and recommendations. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the report.

*This content reflects only the author’s view and the European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.